Silver Book publication

Infectious Diseases

Between 5 and 10 million Americans acquire pneumonia, 35 to 50 million are afflicted with influenza, and 1 million get herpes zoster (shingles)— each year. Not only are older Americans more likely to get these infections, but as a result, they are much more likely to be hospitalized, suffer more complications, and are significantly more likely to die. In fact, the death rate from pneumonia and influenza combined is close to 130 times higher in people age 85 and older, compared to people ages 45 to 54. This increased risk due to age is even higher than that seen in heart disease, stroke, cancer, and other leading causes of death.

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    • HAI Annual Cost
      Healthcare-associated infections in US hospitals cost $96–$147 billion annually.  
    • Pneumonia Death Rate by Age in 2004
      Pneumonia Death Rate Per 100,000 By Age: United States, 2004  
    • Medicare hospitalization rates from pneumonia
      Elderly Medicare patients are hospitalized with community-acquired pneumonia at a rate of 18.3 per 1000, compared to 4 per 1000 in younger populations.  
    • >900,000 cases of pneumonia each year
      Each year, more than 900,000 cases of community-acquired pneumonia are estimated to occur in seniors in the U.S.  
    • 1 in 3 people will develop shingles
      An estimated 1 in 3 people will develop shingles in their lifetime.